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are not seeing that, in because you mentioned, th of the big overhang of foreclosed homes, which are weighing on prices. it is a vicious circle. people do not want to buy because prices are falling. prices are falling because people do not want to buy. there are a number of things we are doing. we are keeping mortgage rates globe. -- low. this works to try to modify -- there is work to try to modify mortgages. i think it is worth looking at that area. one area where more work needs to be done is housing finance. we have not begun to clarify for the market out housing finance -- the market and the public housing finance -- how housing finance will be conducted in the future. mi her area i suggest he mighwe ght think about is the overhang of distressed houses. for example, fanny, freddie, and the bank's own about half a million homes right now, which are basically sitting there on the market and which are pressing down prices and reducing appraisals and making the housing market much weaker than it otherwise would be. that is another area to look at. there are various things that one could do t
the prime minister agree that in the past when the house of commons has been faced with big issues that they have a tendency for knee-jerk overreactions? would you agree that newspapers are a force for good in this country and we need criminality weeded out of the media but not impose on a free speech or prepress? >> my hon. friend is entirely right. we need to make sure as the house of commons, as the government, in the debate that we have to show an element of restraint in regulation of the media because there's always a danger that the pendulum will swing too far the other way and we threaten investigative journalism, a strong and independent media that can hold government to account. when we consider some of the scandals that have been uncovered, it is often the press that does this. it is absolutely vital to maintain their british tradition. >> rebekah brooks described the prime minister as a friend and neighbor. we heard about christmas walks and conversations. >> order. this is the moment in parliament where we have a free speech. this question will be heard. that is the end
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